Marriage Quest, Israel and Cathie Helfand, Cabot Vermont, 802-563-3063

Divorce Decision and Counseling
Recovering from Infidelity
Detecting and Surviving an Emotional Affair
Conquering a Mid-Life Crisis
When Your Children Leave Home
Retirement
Addressing Sexual Concerns
Emotional Intimacy and Physical Intimacy
Emotional Trauma
Premarital Counseling for Second Marriages too
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Emotional Traumas

Many couples who come to Marriage Quest are in the middle of a traumatic situation needing help with crisis intervention skills. Our job is to help them sort out what happened, understand perhaps why it happened, what their various choices are, and learn relationship and coping skills to deal with all of it.

Some traumas we have helped couples with include:

  • Chronic lying and/or deceit
  • Sexual affairs
  • Emotional affairs or inappropriate behaviors
  • Effects of medical challenges on sexual performance
  • Illness of self or family members
  • Aging parents
  • Death of a child
  • Disagreements with retirement plans

Triggering old wounds

Often current traumatic events, such as an affair or an illness, will trigger the unresolved pain of past traumas (PTSD) leading to major challenges and trust issues and making everything worse. If the reaction to present day events seem bigger than expected it may be because of old unresolved wounds and feelings of shame.

We have found that working on your relationship is a good way to improve marital satisfaction as well as a good way to heal old personal wounds and traumas at the same time. Traditional psychotherapists are known for saying that you can’t change anyone but yourself. We disagree. While you may not be responsible for changing your spouse, you certainly influence your spouse in positive or negative ways, so work to be a positive agent of change in your marriage.

Psychotherapists also say that you should do your individual work before engaging in Marriage Counseling. At Marriage Quest we believe that it is very useful to do individual therapy before getting married in order heal old wounds and traumas and become a whole and healthy person. But doing individual therapy while married can be hazardous to your marriage and is more likely to lead to a divorce. When marriage therapy is done right we actually get to heal our traumas (particularly childhood wounds) through the marital relationship bonds.

When a person learns to cope with life's challenges and see things in a more positive manner they gain a new perspective on past traumatic events. At Marriage Quest we believe there are two basic stages of therapy. The first stage is the telling of the "sad and tragic story" of your trauma. Everyone has been wounded by life in one-way or another. Whether it was emotional neglect, physical, sexual, or verbal abuse in childhood, a rape in college, bullying, a near-death experience, parents’ fighting in earshot, or a nasty divorce almost everyone has felt some emotional trauma.

In the first stage of traditional therapy the client may take on the role of The Victim. For the second stage of therapy the story is the same but the "telling" and the feelings are very different. The Victim becomes the Hero or Heroine of the story and realizes that the trauma or wound has made them who they are today and in so doing they embrace it as a badge of honor. Think about your heroes in life. Have they had an easy life? No, probably not. It is in the hardships and how they were handled that wisdom, character, and pride can be achieved. That's what Heroes are made of.

At your Marriage Quest retreat we will discuss the causes of your current challenges, and see how they fit with past life events. Our goal is to give you insights and understanding as to how you each get triggered, what you can do about it, and how to strengthen your marriage. We want to teach you how to make your marriage better, and we solve two problems by showing you how to heal those earlier life wounds through the marital relationship.

People can, and often do, spend years in therapy trying to address them. At your Marriage Quest retreat we will discuss your past and present traumas, with the goal of making your marriage sustainable, affair proof, and couple centered in just three days!

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340 Deeper Ruts Rd, Cabot Vermont 05647
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